Maroons halfback Ben Hunt has accepted part of the blame for Queensland failing to cash in on their numerical advantage and score a late match-winner in Origin II.
Following the sin binning of NSW centre James Roberts with 11 minutes remaining at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night, Hunt and the Maroons were presented with a golden opportunity to steal a win and set up a series decider at Suncorp Stadium.
One of their best attacking sets during this time ended with a Hunt grubber kick rolling harmlessly over the dead-ball line – much to the relief of a tiring NSW team.
An honest Hunt told this week's edition of Big League magazine that he failed to take advantage of his opportunity.
"We should have finished over the top of New South Wales when James Roberts was sent to the sin bin late in the contest. Unfortunately, we failed to get through our sets, and I was to blame for one of the kicks that handed the Blues a crucial seven-tackle set," he said.
"I wanted to keep building pressure on them down that end of the field. I saw James Tedesco was over on the long side so I thought there was an opportunity to sneak one in behind them and get a try or get a repeat set, but I kicked the ball too hard.
"I saw the fullback was out of position and I took an opportunity – unfortunately it didn't come off. It was a huge play in the game, when we needed to turn it around and take control.
"I kicked it dead, they came out of trouble pretty easily and that was because of me. We tried a similar play in game one and Dane Gagai ended up scoring, but on this occasion, it didn't come off."
While the pain of losing an Origin series was evident of the face of Hunt and his Maroons teammates on Sunday night, the Dragons' No.7 said he had to move on and prepare for the next challenge coming his way.
"I'm not the sort of person who stays up for nights on end critiquing my performances. I know when I've done well and I’m willing to man up if I had a poor game. The important thing is I know where I need to improve," he said.
"A lot of people have had their opinions on social media – and I know they haven't been overly positive – but that stuff doesn't hurt me.
"It's more about your team-mates and feeling that you've let them down. I don't really care what people behind a keyboard have to say about me or what they think."
Match Highlights: NSW 18 Queensland 14 - Game II
Origin at Suncorp, there's nothing like it! Game III tickets available here